6 Ways to Stay Calm During a Crisis: Tips for Resilience

August 17, 2021

When we think of the word “crisis” we often think of storms, floods, or economic downturns like a market crash — but when it comes to business a “crisis” can mean a number of other things.

For example, dealing with an urgent product recall, having several key members of your team take sick leave or be unavailable at the same time, dealing with rumours about layoffs and other major changes can all be examples of “crises” in business.

In order to adapt swiftly to any kind of crisis, you need to be organized and stay calm — but this is of course easier said than done. This is where resilience training comes in.

What is Resilience Training?

According to the Mayo Clinic, resilience training focuses on four key areas: emotional, cognitive and mental, physical, and spiritual resilience. Developing these areas can improve your quality of life, help you handle stressful situations more easily, and manage your anxiety by teaching you to view challenges as opportunities.

If you’re new to the concept of resilience raining, we’ve put together this article to help you start developing your resilience right now. Let’s explore:

1. Start by Clearing Your Mind

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when we’re in “crisis mode” so one of the first steps to successfully handling a stressful situation is to focus on calming and clearing our minds. 

Start by taking several deep breaths and observing your thoughts as they happen. This helps your heart beat slower, which reduces blood pressure and helps you stay calm and present.

When you catch your mind starting to wander to stressful scenarios, accept it without judgment, let it go, and hold focus on a positive outlook instead. By keeping ourselves in the present moment we can increase our capacity to cope and weather all kinds of crises.

2. Don’t Overreact

It’s easy to let our emotions get the better of us when we feel stressed but losing our cool and overreacting won’t help resolve the situation. 

When you start feeling stressed, do your best to remove your emotions from the situation and focus on resolving the issue at hand. Step back and think about your future and not just the present situation.

Instead of focusing on how the crisis is making you feel, take a step back and ask yourself: “what is my ideal outcome and how can I achieve it?” Then take steps towards that outcome instead of dwelling on your emotions.

3. Remove Yourself From the Situation

If you find your thoughts are getting away from you, physically remove yourself from the situation. Studies have shown that walking helps calm us down, so get outside and go for a short walk when you start to feel overwhelmed.

If you can, take a break in a park or green space. Studies out of Japan have shown that trees and plants emit aerosols that calm our minds and have significant positive impacts on human biology, so spending time in these spaces can help us think more clearly and reduces anxious thoughts and feelings.

Ready to start your resilience training? Learn more about our resilience programs here.

4. Take Care of Yourself

Taking care of ourselves physically and mentally sets us up to be better-prepared to react to crises in healthy ways. 

Regular exercise reduces stress hormone levels, improves bodily functions, and builds physical resilience while giving us the chance to “step away” from stressful situations.

Eating a balanced diet and getting lots of sleep helps us manage our emotions and improves our memory, self-control, and helps us control our emotions more effectively — all attributes needed to respond to crises in healthy ways.

5. Write Out How You’re Feeling

Journaling during stressful periods can decrease anxiety and help manage “brooding” feelings by helping you break away from a cycle of obsessively thinking about the crisis you’re facing.

In fact, studies have shown that people with medical conditions and anxiety who wrote online for 15 minutes three days a week over a 12-week period had increased feelings of well-being and fewer depressive episodes after just one month, with those feelings continuing to improve throughout the 12 weeks.

6. Talk to a Friend or Mentor

It’s easy to turn inwards during a crisis and try to manage things on our own, but this approach can be detrimental to our overall mental health and wellbeing by making us feel more isolated and overwhelmed.

Instead, reach out to someone you trust and ask them how they would handle the situation. Don’t be afraid to explore your feelings, fears, and to explore ways to overcome the situation with them — getting a “second opinion” can clear negative thoughts and help you focus on creating positive outcomes.

Start Your Resilience Training Today!

We all get stuck in negative thought patterns from time to time, but by building your resilience you can develop healthy strategies to cope with any kind of crisis: personal, professional, or even at a global scale.

To start your resilience training, sign up for our self-paced “Leading With Resilience” course which explores the components of hardiness, resilience, and identify strategies you can use develop yours.

Want more useful articles like this one? Sign up for our monthly newsletter and have resources, training opportunities, and more sent to you once a month!